The core Resident Evil games' leaning towards action-focused gameplay in recent years is based on Capcom data suggesting the survival horror market's just not big enough to drive the sales figures the publisher wants.
"RE4 started in that direction, and RE5 kept going in that direction. And I think that especially for the North American market, we need to keep going in that direction, and take that a step further.
"Looking at the marketing data [for survival horror games] ... the market is small, compared to the number of units Call of Duty and all those action games sell," Kawata reasoned. "A 'survival horror' Resident Evil doesn't seem like it'd be able to sell those kind of numbers."
The producer also said there are opportunities for Capcom to explore purer survival horror gameplay outside of the numbered entries in the series, and did offer some hope to fans of the genre concerned about the direction of Resident Evil 6.
"I can't really speak for Resident Evil 6, but I don't think that it necessarily has to go all the way in that [action-heavy] direction, the Call of Duty direction. It doesn't have to be a straight up shooter. But my impression is that Resident Evil 4 and 5 aren't shooters, per se.
"So we have our numbered series, and we can say we have a more adventure-oriented version, like a Revelations-style game. And we also have Operation: Raccoon City, which is a third-person shooter.
"So I think that by extending the market in this sense, we can still have the numbered titles keep their identity about what Resident Evil is supposed to be, but still expand and hit other markets as well."